Not many people know why I fell off the face of the planet toward the end of 2014. At that time, I deleted all of my social media accounts, changed my phone numbers and made myself scarce in real quick hurry. A couple very bad things happened that caused things to get unsafe for me for a while. The entire year of 2015 and most of 2016 were hell on earth for me.
If it weren’t for this little fella coming into my life, before everything imploded at the end of that year, I probably would have either committed myself to a hospital. I had George the Chihuahua for ten short months. He left the planet for Dog Heaven on March 17, 2015. I am so grateful that I got to live with George and my lifetime doggy, Leo, in the top floor of the house with the bazillion dollar view, for at least a little while.
Being renovicted was traumatizing in and of itself, to say the least. I had just settled into the idea of being there for a long time ahead. I could feel the foundation beneath me growing stronger. Which meant levelling up in life and reaching goals in my healing that would facilitate more contentedness, inner peace and creativity. I even spoke with the owner at the end of July, when I returned from a trip. I had a funny feeling when I was away, so I needed to make sure all was well. She assured me it was. Until she knocked on my door one morning in October I think it was, with a red face, tears streaming down her cheeks and an envelope with my renoviction notice. The city was forcing her to do renovations of their main house before they would be permitted to build their new lane house in the back. My uncle lived in that house in an apartment on the second floor for thirty years.
I lived in the building in a smaller unit before moving to the bigger one where I lived for barely two years. I was devastated. I was told I would have to move at the end of January, which is the anniversary time of my dad’s suicide. Needless to say, the time leading up to the move was one of the hardest times I have had to get myself through in a very very long time. Just when I thought I was done with that depth of struggle.
Shortly after I was renovicted, the relationship I was in turned out to be something entirely different for them than it was for me even though they were acting like it was the same for them as it was for me, which I wasn’t even entirely sure of what I wanted yet. Just communication would have been nice and respectful, in order to you know, make informed choices about the level of my engagement in the relationship with this person. Unfortunately for me it turned out that they were actually scoping out other people but neglected to inform me. I was the thing to keep their ego content until someone better came along. Yes, those are harsh words but betrayal of trust is harsher. Especially when much of my ptsd stems directly from being neglected, taken for granted and tossed away when there was nothing left of me to give. It took a long time for me to trust this person and when I did, it felt amazing. I felt confident and secure in someone including myself at the same time, for the first time in my whole fucking life.
And POOF! that was not the right thing to do, sharai. As per usual, going and trusting people who will only wind up hurting you in the end. You know the drill. You are garbage.
You and I both know the thing about my being garbage, is a hunk of crap. It is utter and complete bullshit, lies and I was the one choking on the pills being gently shoved down my throat.
So I was angry, no, I was livid when the truth was told. Which triggered a terrifying and potentially life threatening ptsd episode. I had been teetering on the edge of something intense for a while in that relationship but I couldn’t quite figure it out. So I tried to step away and take space but they would keep pulling me back, which aggravated me more. I just knew something was not okay so I started demanding answers and to be heard and told what was really going on.
“What is the goal here?” I asked one last time.
I got the truth I asked for and then some. I was overflowing with rage and relief at finally knowing the real position we were in. Which was none. Which pissed me off for wasting so much of my emotional energy on dealing with what felt like endless conflict and negativity between us. Me generally the one trying to defend myself for shit that wasn’t my problem.
Anywho, that episode was rough and I probably scared the hell out of them a thousand times during the worst of it. It took a little while for me to realize I was in an episode before it went full on in, so when it hit, it hit fucking hard. I didn’t know why I was acting the way I was acting out being aggressive and borderline abusive. There was a lot of yelling, crying really loudly, name calling, you name it, I got mean. I wanted to hurt them back even though I knew I never could. Wanting to hurt someone really fucking sucks because I am not a mean person. Yes, I am a person who does not water down their opinions to appease those who are too sensitive to face scrutiny or be called out on their bullshit. I am not interested in lying, in order to feel worse about what troubles me. I am interested in hearing and telling the damn truth and getting on with creating a good life, standing up for each other’s needs. Even if that means needing to not be together.
Which brings me to the third part of what made the episode go on for so long; After standing up for a person on a well known website, I was hacked and harassed online and the police were remotely called to my house, which thankfully it wasn’t the swat team. There were all kinds of sinister, intentionally cruel and harmful things said and done to me and my home. I’m not sure my ptsd response to the relationship crisis would have gotten such a tight hold on me, if I hadn’t been hacked. The violation of my privacy, space and sense of security, fed into every fear I have lived with since I was born. Invasion, gas lighting, doxxing, interfering with my phone lines, internet and plenty more things to make me actually afraid for my life. I was in a constant state of fear. I still haven’t completely shaken the experience off of me, so I maintain a somewhat social media free lifestyle. Which in the long run, is a blessing in disguise. I get so much more done by not always being online checking everything.
Any way moving on…
As I mentioned earlier, it was the end of 2015 when three successive, major life altering events happened for me that I was not sure I was going to come out the other side. The terror and isolation were consuming my existence and I was in agonizing fear, for months.
There were many days that I cried uncontrollably, wildly like a ferral animal howls in helpless suffering, straight from its gut out into the atmosphere. I am pretty sure it is so powerful a whale, that it reaches the Sun and the Moon too. That is how intense those feelings are. Not knowing if you will live or die, soon or how painful it is going to be when you finally do. My cries were from the centre of me. The place where I begin and end. Where my Ancestors are, with me, waiting for me, too.
“Take me home to you.” I pray to them.
I will join them some time but usually they tell me, “Not now, just hold on a little longer, you will be okay if you just Keep going.”
So I do, I keep hanging on because it is not in my Blood to let go too easy; of the things that I want and value in Life. Like having a peaceful life. A life without constant fear and pain or being rolled over.
I’m not going to get into the great, gory details of what caused the third ptsd episode of my life. For me, it isn’t the triggers that were important but how I handled myself through the rough, life threatening experience. There was a lot of chaos and fighting between myself and the person I was in relationship conflict with. Our unease went on for too long for my liking because I could feel myself slipping into old behaviour patterns and my fight or flight brain was ready to fight. We weren’t resolving issues and at times made things worse. We were not equipped to handle it ourselves and it was clear there was no point any way because we wanted different things. Ptsd is not easy to just figure out. I was already going to weekly therapy and doing other things in my own recovery, I didn’t want the stress of being with a person who couldn’t look at their own reflection to recognize their contribution to the struggle in their life.
My threshold for people who point their fingers and blame everyone else for what ever, is very very low, and I am very very vocal about that.
I don’t know if you have ever had a significant traumatic episode. Or, maybe you know someone who has had a traumatic episode and it was pretty fucked up sometimes, if they had more than one.
What. Do. You. Do?
Mostly, be accountable to your behaviour that may be contributing to the upset in the relationship. As a person with complex ptsd, I am not allowed to be an asshole and am accountable for my behaviour and trauma response. So, neither are you allowed to be an asshole as a person without complex ptsd who may exhibit shitty behaviour they want to blame the partner with ptsd for.
TIP: NEVER BLAME YOUR SHITTY BEHAVIOUR ON YOUR PARTNER HAVING PTSD.
You don’t want to go down that road. It can get ugly. Self respect and integrity are way easier to deal with than waiting to be called out on your bullshit by someone you supposedly love and respect and continually disrespect. To the point of horrifc explosions of raw and out of control emotion that does not need to be created in the first place.
Tell the damn truth. If you are tired or feeling burnt out or you feel like you need support or you don’t understand something, that is on YOU, not the person with ptsd. Sure, they might be able to make some suggestions about therapy or classes or books to read but ultimately, you have to handle you. They are likely hanging on for dear life, trying to keep their own life relatively stable.
It’s not your fault your partner with ptsd hurts so much sometimes you think you might die right beside them (if they ever die like they say they are going to). It’s not my fault that I have complex ptsd either. I was born into a trauma life. It is what it is and it is getting better because I want it better. I am getting better at regulating my thoughts, emotions and feelings. I have been working at this getting better thing for my whole life.
Being in a relationship that just has constant yelling and conflicting is not a good thing for anyone, never mind anyone with ptsd. I’m super glad those crappy moments are brought to closure, for both of us as individuals and as a couple who can now see the present, and a fulfilling future together.
I never thought I would want to be anyone’s wife, for real, as in get legally married and live together and all that. I hope my partner will smile and get little red hearts in their eyes when they see me, for a long time to come. It feels good to feel what good love feels like. Love isn’t supposed to be scary or hurtful. Though sometimes I can be hurtful, especially if I feel someone has stepped on me.
Which it isn’t cool to be hurtful and I am working on it. I expect the same amount of effort from my partner in their accountability in relationship. Ptsd or not. I do not use my ptsd to excuse my poor behaviour, when I have it. I want to recover from the injuries that were inflicted to my developing brain. I want to continue to be able to cope with life’s everything that comes, in a fairly grounded manner, for the rest of my life. And hey, I am not perfect and probably will fuck up and say something I don’t really mean, at some point. And I sure hope not and if I do, I will probably be the first to call myself on my bullshit. If I feel loved and respected, chances are low that things will go the trauma road, very often.
Why? You may wonder.
Because when I feel loved and respected, I feel safe. As a child growing up, I do not recall a single moment in time that I ever felt safe in my house. I never felt loved either. I felt hated, actually. By my mother.
Because just because my mom was a dick to me, does not excuse me being a dick to anyone else. See, Accountable to healing and creating a better way to live.
Before my current partner came along, I was single for fifteen years. I had no inclination to get partnered up in any sort of serious way. I was cultivating a healthy, stable relationship with myself. I was content and starting to feel the postive effects of decades of various emotional work on myself including specifically, trauma therapy. My sense of Self was blossoming, I had rosy cheeks of anticipation for what Growth was to come in my life. By the time of the episode, I was dragging myself around like a wet mop, feeling ugly and used up again. Insecurity and jealousy clouded my heart and I let it go on between us until I finally had to put it to a full stop or I was going to do something I would really regret.
Through all of it, the traumatic episode of 2014/15, there was a story I kept reminding myself of and I will share it with you now.
I remember the night well, it was pitch darkness of black shadows so dark you could hardly see them. Death. Death has always had a shot gun seat with me. Up front and ready to go.
Hell. Death. The Great Void of Nothingness. It was 1997 and I was sinking into the boards of the hardwood floor that I painted a choco-poo brown colour. This was the wood floor of my first ever solo apartment. My secret hideaway upstairs, through a hidden door on Commercial Drive, in Little Italy.
“Hey!, I saw you on the Drive the other day but you vanished into thin air before I could say hi!” Said someone once or a few times.
That dark night though, I was so alone and I thought I was dying in my secret hideaway, not even a handful of people knew where it was. Maybe I was dying? All I know is that night the weight of the grief on my heart from all the hurt throughout my young life, and continued into the present at the time, was burying me alive and I did not want to stop it. I allowed myself to get heavier and to rest until I could no longer feel my joints or bones inside of my skin.
I remember thinking, “I don’t want to die choking on my puke. I just don’t want to wake up anymore.”
It felt like there was nothing left of my heart.
“There is nothing left.” became my silent mantra to carry as my burden for the rest of my hopefully very short life.
The thin futon mattress spread its particles of matter, to allow my body to sink further into the surface below. As I sank deeper, I was overcome with shame and terror of being alone. The humiliation of being so unworthy that there was not a single person I could call on the telephone to reach out for support because I was scared and dying. It felt like I was dying.
My fear was too much and what ever rational, calm protector part of me kicked into gear just as the weaker parts of myself let go. I started to breathe Qi Gong breath, to try to slow my spasmic heart and stop it from exploding in my chest.
It took some time that felt like hours of breathing into the energy that was causing me pain from too many lifetimes at such a young age. Something shifted inside me at the moment my breath finally brought ease to the pain, in not only my body, but in my Whole Spirit. I breathed through the thoughts of sinking and dying through the floor. I let myself go and stopped fighting it.
“That’s totally impossible, it is a hardwood fucking floor. You are not splitting into tiny particles of matter and getting absorbed by the floor matter, either.” Said someone (my own voice inside my head) because I was tripping on LSD.
I may have done some other drugs and smoked weed, too. I was wasted. And alone with my uncomforted grief.
It is easy to feel like you are dying on acid if you take more than you ought to ingest. I am pretty sure I felt like I was dying because I was being crushed by the grief of the coerced adoption of my two children. I had no line of support to help me get through that. So for a while, a good chunk of time, I did a lot of acid to the point of reaching surrender to everything that is happening. Tripping was a psychological experiment I did on myself, without even knowing there were such experiments in real life. LSD empowered me at the time, to let myself go wild, take risks and experience momentary freedom from the pains of the loss of my Children and Motherhood. I loved the enlightenment that came with acid as it pushed me further, to surrender to the experience. Surrender is the moment in your trip that you can start to relax and see more clearly and more far reaching.
Yeah! Surrender! Do more of that!
While I was lying in my bed, life was flashing through my thoughts like, in a way that it didn’t feel like I was watching my life, but somebody else’ life. It looked like the me in the stories I was told about, where there was a bad girl who always was in the way and got into lots of trouble all the time.
There was so much pain, it shone on the girl’s face that looked like mine, like a fresh burn. I could see that nobody liked her or cared if she was around because she was such a waste of space. I could see that she started to want to die even though she had barely begun her life. Some days she wanted to die harder than other days.
This pain got to be so bad that anytime she would have an unexpected giggle or pleasant tickle in her tummy or maybe enjoy a little bit of something, she would remind herself immediately how selfish and greedy she was told she was, over and again. Eventually she stopped feeling any happiness at all. Ever.
“Shut up! You’re making too much god damned noise!” What ever adult taking care of me would yell through the wall or the ceiling, to where I was probably not making too much god damned noise because if I did, I would get yelled at for it!
A little kid can only handle getting hollered at so much before they stop being kids and shut the fuck up.
I was so high on I don’t recall how many hits of acid. Probably a bunch due to the very realistic sensation of the melting into the floor situation I was experiencing. Like, that was really happening! You weren’t there, I was, and it was real.
Warm tears I did not realize I was crying, rolled down the sides of my face and brought me back to myself, there in my bed on a thin futon mattress on the hardwood floor of my living room that I converted into my bedroom because it was quieter.
“I think the peak is done.” Some Guardian Angel of mine said from somewhere that I swear sounded like it was Heaven.
Where ever that was.
I could see whisps of electricity in the night of my room. My eyes could comprehend matter and movement in the darkness. My heart felt stronger, more capable of continuing on with its beat. For a little while longer.
“The pain.” I contemplated the level of hurt I experienced as a child and throughout most my life, up to that point in time.
Sometimes I still have a hard time accepting that that child in pain and suffering that I was witnessing in my thoughts, was me.
“How did I live through that?” I have pondered the question quietly, countless numbers of times.
The acid’s edge was lowering me down and I could enjoy my developing enlightenment about pain and wanting death’s relief. To be free of the pain at last.
I pulled myself up to sitting and the swirly, tiny colourful threads of energy that were floating around the night air, were all around me and passing through me.
A feeling I had never felt before washed over me as I realized,
“It is not YOU you want to die! It is your PAIN that you want to die!”
That for me, is the epiphany of all epiphanies.
“So, Like, instead of killing myself, I figure out how to kill my pain?” Asks myself to myself.
My acid trip that night became one of a number of trips that brought some kind of profound experience that helped me see more clearly, to help me be a better person and to make it through my pain. I can honestly say that it was LSD that got me through the aftermath of giving my children up for coerced adoption. That and going to therapy and being accountable to my healing.
Seriously though, think about it; You are going 95 miles an hour for seemingly endless amounts of time and most of your energy is spent on thinking death is a better option than living – to a slowing but intense ride through flash backs of yourself as a child, only seeing it from a different perspective. One that comes from objectivity and ability to articulate the differences between killing yourself and killing your pain.
Do the math:
Kill yourself = Dead = no longer feeling because dead = causing a bunch of people to feel pain over you killing yourself to stop pain.
Kill your pain = outgrow trauma response behaviours + learn new relational skills = high potential for experiencing inner peace.
I still have suicidal ideations. I have had them for as long as I can remember being alive. I remember thinking about ending my life when I was five years old, though I doubt I understood what it really meant. But being gone, that is what I always wanted. Because it sure felt like no one wanted me there. I have many stories of my experience as a survivor of suicide. As in, being left behind by someone who killed themselves. But I will save those for another page and time. I will likely always have some level of ideation for the rest of my life. But the gift in that now, is that I know it is not me I want dead, it is my pain.
Be good to yourself. Please reach out if you are planning your suicide. As someone who lost their father to killing himself, I can tell you, I will live with and feel the pain of this loss for the rest of my life. I love my dad and I need him and he is gone. I bet someone loves and needs you a whole heck of a lot. Including yourself. Please try to find a way to keep living. I know I can’t stop you but YOU can stop you. You don’t have to make suicide your only option. There is help to find other solutions to your pain, I am speaking from personal experience.
So, there you have it. I fell off the face of the planet because of some bad shit that got really bad for a while. I didn’t feel safe or know who I could trust with my pain, there is always so much pain and I felt like a burden so I retreated to where I could protect myself from any further harm.
I am safe now. I am okay. I trust myself completely to get through hard times. Even when not only do you withdraw, but others let you go essentially disappearing too.
Thank you for your time.